Six Poems by Beverly
Tucked between the whirling
stars in this improbable
membrane, we moist entities.
Incongruent bobble, thinking,
feeling, translucing over
outside inside edge, a mere
surface. A film. A bit of operatic
scum. So sad. No quantum consolation.
Beyond astonishment, itís good
as over. Breath on glass in winter
light. Scuffling of beings to the brightest
slices, most articulated crimp.
Snow levels down
angles, corners; even
movers donít move.
A white evening.
Leftover robins puff
in bramble niches.
New morning after
last crystal lights
its branch. Just so toe
scratches of squirrel
powders over, no
evidence of anything.
Compost snow domed
and no memory. Easy
indoors mind says such
things. Outdoors breath
a particle field, no
What to do with rags, torn
underwear, holed socks? A pair
where one is whole, the other
gapped. No away at the dump
anymore. The. The. Though
some pretend. All old attachments
shooed through, restitched again,
again. No dice, Albert. Strings,
tied, retied, played, unplayed.
Infinite vibrato. A gust clacking
flat aspen. Long lines of nothings
strung. Thrash of wings as crows
uprise all together now out
of stalk stubble, drained grass.
Someone has made them out
of black rags, they wind silky
in drafts, plying air like slipped
gloves, flags. Maybe itís I who made
them, mind-needled fabric flow
out of whatever i have before
they come back low and only crow.
Late November, planting leftover
daffodils in what will be zucchini
bed, spade forked already. They
may not grow from dessication,
age, gesture futile. Tomorrow snow
packs in, a whirl. Plan isnít possible,
so now i cozy them in, using body
weight to tamp haphazard soil. Attention
is what gives ground, beyond hope.
Nothing should be leftover, and dirt
sees to it. Behind ragged mountain,
last rays boil up, suckling clouds. Soon
sun returns, an optical illusion, a twist
in space, earth rolling in its gravity
well. Heart takes in this fragile time,
swelling to the repetitions, totally
deluded glow that this is home.
We called it a cold
but actually it was
weeping. What about?
Nothing beyond daily
the shower. A slow
drip of plumbing. Back
in sunshine days i had
a moment of complete
inattention. How can i
forget bug eyes of half
grasshopper in layers
of kale? Most acute
for me is bewilderment,
the way my fatherís
hands flailed space
after his son died. At
a loss, left your party
out into conifers, stands
of ferned bay laurel,
immersed myself in
a deer herd, moving
tender toed through
moss and evening. Moon
and i understand each
other, caught between
forces, cool and one only.
you still rough up
mindís edges. If roshi was a flow
of wood grain (going across, as he
taught, never to or away
from you), rinpoche was jagged
rock, soft cored, adventurous
exploration of upaya. Hereís
a moment: Iím going up stairs
to change from kitchen clothes
to robes; am expected to hit bells,
mokugyo for Rebís ordination.
Meet Alan Marlowe coming down,
fresh and shining from head shaving
with Janet. Below is Chogyam
Trungpa Rinpoche, looking up,
waiting for Suzuki roshi, loose-
shirted at garden double doors.
Heís just sitting. I feel electric shock
through spine and turn down
to him. Eyes meet and i see and
am seen beyond any depth before
or since. No words. Then i go my
way and he goes his. Have always
wondered what would have happened
if iíd turned then. Maybe
iíd have flown the stairs,
maybe nothing would be different,
maybe everything. Who cares? So what?
He told me later, when i missed my teacher,
that roshi is everywhere. And roshi
told me once that mind is everywhere.
So is there any coming or going?
Of all the people on those stairs,
only iím alive. Am i to blame? Like
a wire. Like a moment left in space
still conducting something, something,
nothing. Even now i can feel
your glowing, indifferent eyes.
An act of terrorism begins so far
away from this toe in the ground
we canít fathom it. And yet weíre
there 1,000 moments a day. Have
you never felt inner crippled self
trying to escape? any twist will do.
A 1950s joke: god, please make
this hand like the other. We imagine
heavens full of unimaginable: a god
in a sky. A ramís horn of what we
wish. All those horses. Our dead child.
Women plying male dreams, female
rain. What will it take for you to sit
still? Still. Build nothing. Dismantle
pain avoiding toys, including god,
cars. Here is not the best place ever,
few actual virgins, bees ask payment
for honey. Here is enough for study,
For noticing. Here is unobscured
ground, enough sadness for any
lifetime, enough ecstasy. Just
not so simple sun firing up every
day. Not enough pyrotechnics?
Leaves squirm underfoot, readying.
Such a little film we live in, so many
swimmers. Why isnít it enough, our
microscopic slice of everything?